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Do people really care about power use ?

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January 13, 2011 6:27:59 PM

Hey guys

I see that in reviews both here and else where, the writers seem to devote a whole page to power-use (idle and load and so forth). Obviously this isn't unique to gfx cards, and crops up on CPUs and even weird stuff like fans and heat sinks. I even saw a review of blueray players that refused to give a PS3 'recommended' status (despite being comparably priced to top end players and possessing OBVIOUS additional features) because it runs in at 300w.

Basically its slithering into everything and, I find it just... weird.

Particularly for graphics cards, and most notably high end gaming cards, which no sane person would put in a home theatre or other power concious set-up (primarily because you couldn't fit them in the case) I find that putting any emphasis on their power use at all seems to be kinda pointless.

I don't think that I would ever break a tie for a new gfx card on that criteria. There's so many other things to base a decision on and since power consumption is so similar for comparable cards that its just not in coming into it. Basically you can ALWAYS break a tie on at least one of the following: performance, feature set, future proofness (DX11 etc), overclocking margin, or price. Unless you are accidentally choosing between two of the same card, ONE of those will make the choice for you.

Does anyone here care AT ALL about the power use of their components (other than in guiding their PSU choice) ? Has ANYONE looked at a power-consumption table and thought 'Well actually I'll get the 460 instead' ? Is it just psycho-greenness sweeping into everything ?

More about : people care power

January 13, 2011 7:10:59 PM

if u have a gaming club with ~20-30 computer, will it matter ?
at home most of us have few TVs, computers, lots of other electric appliances. The greenness gettin into all that will save u lot of money in the long run.
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January 13, 2011 7:43:23 PM

I have hate in my heart for greenness too. I drive an SUV, I have incandescent lights, and I don't eat leftovers. I make bumper stickies that say "At the beginning of every slow line of cars is a Prius".

Since I don't leave my computer on unless I'm using it, I could care less how many watts it uses. I have never bought a part with consideration for power.

Why? Because the difference I get with products that save power are they are usually inferior. They run slower, they are not as fast, they cost more, whatever. When the tech is sorted out and the green product is better, it won't be the "green" product, it will just be the product, because it is actually better than the thing it replaces.

I swear, the crop of green products nowadays are for hippies that want to think they are making a difference to the environment. --News flash- there are 2 billion people in China and India that don't give a crap. Anything we do for the environment's sake is battered by them doing the opposite.

/endrant
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January 13, 2011 9:07:43 PM

To counter-point for the sake of doing so, that low power idle generally corresponds to low heat output. It's nice on the ears not to have to have a cooling system running at full tilt all the time or to not have an high powered GPU bake the rest of your computer. Or, for that matter, me in my room.

But yeah that's all I've got, generally if my PC is left to idle I've already put it in sleep. That kinda makes low power settings a little null.
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January 14, 2011 12:00:28 AM

jimishtar said:
if u have a gaming club with ~20-30 computer, will it matter ?
at home most of us have few TVs, computers, lots of other electric appliances. The greenness gettin into all that will save u lot of money in the long run.


Thing is that you could save even more power by using on-chip graphics, and in doing so make your gaming club suck. And although it is all a matter of degrees, if you can afford to put in 470's instead of 430's, the guys who game there are going to appreciate it and won't begrudge the few pennies per hour extra it costs to run them.

It's very much the same at home. When I've bought an awesome GPU (or two or indeed more) I think I can manage to suck up the negligible extra running costs. Since I'm in the market for plural-hundred dollars of graphics hardware, I think that shows that I'm willing to pay the extra to get good frame rates and future proofing.

To borrow the car-anaology from festerovic: When you buy a car, you can get something that's really fast or that gets really good gas milage. If you care about going fast, then you pay at the pump. Even if you DON'T wanna go fast, you still pay something for gas.

Sure, gas prices are somewhat higher than electricity prices, but I think it illustrates the point. No matter how hard you try, if you wanna play the latest games, then you'll have to pay SOMETHING to run the pc, you have to use SOME power. Since you're clearly already committed to the past time if you are buying bleeding edge hardware, you're priorities are elsewhere than the electricity bil..
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January 14, 2011 9:01:19 AM

When I'm using my computer (like 14 hours a day) I don't really care about how green it is. It's a gaming machine that I use for work - poor setup, but I don't have the money to build two powerful machines.

I do however turn my computer off when I don't need it. If I go to watch TV or have a shower etc.. it's normally turned off. With a 10 second shut down time, and around 30-60 seconds boot time.. I don't really mind doing this.

I use to keep my old computer on (that takes half the power to run) on all the time because it took so long to turn on.. so I wonder which actually works out more green?
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January 14, 2011 12:17:11 PM

There is another consideration that I'll mention. What about those of us who want to upgrade? Can I run a GTX480? I don't want to buy a new PSU, I want to just buy the card. I know that my Antec EA500W has 34A on the 12V rails. (408W) When I look at a review and see that system X used 375W under load, then I know I can run Y card. More so because my CPU isn't a hex core thats overclocked to 4GHz. This alone makes the power figures worth it.

I can also see power possibly swaying a choice. If card X and card Y provide similar FPS, and card X uses 175W while card Y uses 150, most I think would take card Y. Not only because it uses less electricity, but because the less power using cards tend to be cooler as well. As d0gr0ck pointed out, not all of us want hot powerful cards.
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January 14, 2011 12:19:43 PM

I for one care A LOT about power consumption.

When you live at home with mommy and daddy of course you could care less.
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January 14, 2011 12:34:47 PM

As far as my computer, I could care less about power consumption. If losing performance will only save me a couple dollars a year, then screw the savings. I focus on the energy consumption of things in my house that matter. Air conditioning and heating. I keep it cooler than most in the winter, and a little warmer in the summer. Devices like a 4 ton central AC unit that draws 40 amps at 240v and an electric central heat unit that pulls upwards of 100 amps at 240v are things that i tend to keep an eye on. A computer pulling 450w that i could reduce to 420w by crippling it's performance tend to not concern me. I do use CF lamps throughout my house, and i've learned one thing about them. They absolutely SUCK in places that are turned on and off more than a couple times a day. Like the bathroom for example. With a family of 4 they will get turned on and off a dozen times a day or more, and their "5 year life" will shrink to about 3 months. So we avoid CF lights there. But the den, porch lights, yard light, and most of the rooms where lights are on or off for hours at a time usually, they work great. Cars are another thing i don't agree on the "green" thing. I would never drive a hybrid car. Why, you ask? The dismal performance, lack of space inside most of them, and the outrageous pricetag for what you get. I actually like being able to pass people on the highway. I like to be able to accelerate on a hill. I like being able to haul things when I need to. I like not feeling like i'm driving a go-kart. That's why my wife drives an SUV and i drive a F250 w/ the 7.3L Turbo Diesel. You can probably fit an entire Prius in the back of my truck, and pull a trailer with a 10 of them on it, and I like it that way.

I say go "green" where it's practical. Otherwise, it's more of an inconvenience and expense.
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January 14, 2011 12:41:37 PM

geekapproved said:
I for one care A LOT about power consumption.

When you live at home with mommy and daddy of course you could care less.



Took the words right out of my mouth.

Of course power use is going to be a concern to the person who actually has to foot the bill every month.

It may not stop you from buying high end parts, but it should make you think about how you use them.
I buy fairly high parts, and I drive a big ass SUV as another idiot further up here mentioned, but I do try to use them wisely. I use my SUV for what it was designed for, trips to the mountains for camping and skiing, to the beach when I need to drive on the sand, carrying 4 of my friends and their equipment to the golf course, or towing my boat and camper. I do not use it to run to the store or quick trips around town everyday, that is just not smart. Does that make you "green" in every one else eyes, maybe not, but you can keep your toys and they not cost you and arm and a leg. Every modern system has a whole host of power saving features that can you turn on, if you have half brain, that will do a great job of streamlining your power consumption to the task at hand.
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January 14, 2011 12:44:34 PM

I don't pay my electric bills myself since I haven't finished school yet.Still I try to save power so that my parents don't get a huge bill just for my gaming(implement speedstep to my ocs,shutdown everything,do a LOT of voltage tuning)...I also buy my rigs and upgrades with my own money.
So yes I do care a lot about power consumption.
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January 14, 2011 12:50:29 PM

Hgih power cards aren't a bad thing, they pump out alot of heat, which in turn make you nice and warm, so no need for central heating to be on, you may even save money Vs buying a low power card and having the heating on alot.

(mind you for the above statement you may have to run furmark alot or risk freezing to death...)

I'm not really bothered about power consumption, I have the power supply for it and can afford the extra pennies it costs over a lower end graphics card (in terms of the lecky bill.)
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January 14, 2011 1:00:43 PM

I no longer turn the radiator on in my room since getting SLI. No joke.
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January 14, 2011 1:03:24 PM

Power is usually only a concern to those that pay their own bills, and power conservation is going to be more and more in all our faces as time progresses, populations increase, and resources decrease.

So what do the cutting edge gamers do, they shell out the money for the higher performing hardware and pay the price for it, in direct expense and increase in power draw, so that's why I do not run my machines 24/7, I turn them off when not in use and that does make a difference.

Someone mentioned earlier could they buy a 480GTX GPU with their present setup because they only wanted to buy the GPU not a new power supply, unfortunately today the GPU you buy needs to be a direct consideration of the power supply you're running, and cannot be an after thought anymore.

The days of building a machine from scratch and reusing your old faithful power supply are literally over, unless of course you had a fully capable power supply to start with.

So to sum it up, you get what you pay for, and you pay for what you get, and you also pay to use it.

For myself would a high power drawing GPU stop me from buying it?

No!

But I pay my bills, so that's my own prerogative!
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January 14, 2011 1:54:43 PM

Funny I've had the same CFL's in my bathroom for 3 years and haven't had a single one die on me, nor in any other room for that matter.

If your still using incandescents, then your just behind the times. In fact you won't be able to even buy incandescents by next year and even CFL's will be obsolete in a few years because the new thing is LED's.

The government wants us to end our dependence on foreign oil, yet they still allow incandescents to be sold for household use. I think they should be banned. A 13w bulb replaces a 60w bulb, imagine the billions of watts a day that could be saved if all households were required to use CFL's.
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January 15, 2011 7:18:22 PM

4Ryan6 said:

So to sum it up, you get what you pay for, and you pay for what you get, and you also pay to use it.

But I pay my bills, so that's my own prerogative!


spot on. I have an illness that will cause me to have a drastically shortened lifespan, and want what I want now, and am willing to pay for it. This is my choice, not the choice of an "idiot" just because some think it's not the right path. I leave you to choose what's important to your life.

Quote:
"The government wants us to end our dependence on foreign oil, yet they still allow incandescents to be sold for household use. I think they should be banned. A 13w bulb replaces a 60w bulb, imagine the billions of watts a day that could be saved if all households were required to use CFL's."


so much for freedom. Let the gov't tell you what to do some more, see where that gets you.
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January 15, 2011 7:30:11 PM

No, i don't care. Leaving a computer on is like leaving 3-10 lights on.
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January 16, 2011 12:31:19 PM

ahthurungnone said:
No, i don't care. Leaving a computer on is like leaving 3-10 lights on.


Classic example of what's wrong with America. You could turn off those 3-10 lights and could have saved enough by now to upgrade your dinasaur video card. lol
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January 16, 2011 2:40:45 PM

geekapproved said:
Classic example of what's wrong with America. You could turn off those 3-10 lights and could have saved enough by now to upgrade your dinasaur video card. lol


Got to agree.
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January 16, 2011 3:11:42 PM

Green is good but to be honest I don't care about my computer or my monitors using electricity.

The most power hungry part of you home is heating and cooling. A computer won't even count for 10% of your utility bill, a refrigerator eats more power.

I have a tankless water heater which basically saves hundreds of dollars each year. I use gas instead of water heating. I hardly use AC in the summer. Vaccum sealed glass windows. These are the things that matter. There are tons of other ways to go green.

Overclocking a computer is worth like 100W. Which is nothing compared to how much KW your appliances and home heating/cooling is using. People don't even turn off lights most of the time.

LEDs are not going to replace CCFLs any time soon. It cost like $15-$20 for a single 9W LED light bulb that replaces a 60W. You can get a 13W CCFL that replaces a 60W for like $2. The 4W difference cost nearly 10x as much for the bulb.
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January 16, 2011 6:24:57 PM

I guess in my case I'm unusual since I'm in a small studio type place and letting the gaming desktop idle is cheaper than turning on the heater because of poor construction planning (it points directly out the window). Also, my small fridge is dumping it's waste heat into my room.

Most of my browsing occurs on my older laptop which cam with a 60W power brick. I'd be shocked to see it actually pull that much, ever. The entire room is lit by CCFL bulbs. I'm nickle and dime-ing to drop my personal power consumption muck more without giving up my entertainment as a computer gamer/hobbyist.

I'm also in the habit of reflexively shutting things down. I don't use screensavers, I turn of the screen. The time I spend waiting for my computer to boot or wake from sleep mode is inconsequential to me.

I would like to see a way to figure if it's simply more efficient to shut down high powered equipment than to leave the special low-idle stuff on all the time for convenience. Could be a cool article.

Also a fun fact on the side. My '05 Accord coupe is cheaper to run under my circumstances than an equivalent Prius, and is cheaper to buy too. My brother and I had a field day when that dropped out of the math.
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January 16, 2011 7:31:24 PM

I could really care less, my rig is a power hog because its a power rig. You get the same thing anywhere you go. Fast costs money. If you wanna play you gotta pay. IMO "Green" is nothing more than a marketing scheme. All it is an excuse for companies to produce products that generally cost less to produce with less performance while costing the consumer more on the shelf. Its win win for these companies. Don't get me wrong caring about the environment is good, we only have one planet. If you want to do something for the environment go adopt a highway or something. Dont buy a GPU with half the performance at twice the price just cuz it says "Green" on the box...You hav'nt helped a damn thing other than Al Gore and some corporate fat cats pocketbook.
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January 16, 2011 7:42:55 PM

On the Prius tip. Did you guys know that a toyota prius from the day it is built to the day it is scrapped has a roughly 25% higher overall negative impact on the environment than a comparable efficient gas vehicle (civic accord focus cobalt ect...)
due to processing of the battery and other synthetic materials used in production. There's something they dont tell you on the EPA sticker on the window... but they'll sure slap the word "GREEN" all over it lol....and most people will buy it because of that. America needs to wake up to this hippie liberal green apple user bs scam... REAL TALK!
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August 3, 2012 7:04:45 AM

I don't take power consumption into account for my electronics. I also find it strange how video card reviews have a page about power consumption. Who cares about a few watts if it's gunna boost your performance? I always just skip that page. I have power efficient lights and stuff though, and I turn off my PC when I'm not using it. It boots up in like 25 seconds anyway. I do have a shitload of stuff plugged into my wall, however, which is probably a fire hazard. I have like 10 different device chargers, an Xbox 360, a PS3, my gaming PC and a LCD monitor, and my laptop all using a bunch of power bars and two outlets.
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August 4, 2012 3:03:27 AM

Power no. Heat and fan noise, yes. It's one thing to post some nice benchmarks to show what your system can do. But if you have more fps than you can possible really use, may as use more conservative settings for a cooler and quieter solution. Of course, you could be using a quiet liquid cooled setup, in which case, you likely laugh at lesser people while running 200 fps in minesweeper Dirt 3 on the highest settings :) 
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August 6, 2012 10:40:15 AM

Even with my 08' desktop running nearly 24/7 it only costs me $10-15 a month to run it all day. I'm sure even my 550watt gaming system if i let that thing run it won't cost much electricity. But honestly i usually turn off my system when im not at home and i'd put my pc on standby at night but considering i like to listen to music at night i just leave my pc on. And for gaming enthusiasts they'll pay top dollar for high fps.
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